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CHICAGO — In his Triple-A debut last week, the man tasked with bringing the heat could feel the heat.It wasn’t the 94-degree weather at a 7 p.m. first pitch that made Logan Webb nervous before he took the mound for the Sacramento River Cats.For the first time this year, the crowd was mostly gathered because of his presence.Webb grew up in nearby Rocklin, Calif. and said he had a large group of family members and dozens of friends in attendance at Sacramento’s Raley Field on Monday, August …
21 May 2012 In 2011, a wrong turn only 12 kilometres from the finish cost Nedbank 360Life’s Kevin Evans and David George victory in the Sani2c mountain bike race. They made no mistake in 2012, smashing the course record as they claimed victory in Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Saturday morning. “For us it wasn’t important to win every stage; the overall was,” said Evans, who notched up his fifth victory in six outings, two of which were with George. Evans and George have been in superb form this season. They claimed the African jersey at the Absa Cape Epic in April and then captured the Old Mutual joBerg2c two weeks ago. The overall honours went the way of stage two winners Ischen Stopforth and Catherine Williamson of bizhub-FCF, who came home in 2:54:08 for a combined time of 10:24:11. “I love this race and I’ll keep coming back. The course gets better and better every year.” By the first water point after 21km, Evans and George, riding with Reid and Keey, had opened up a lead of a minute on their pursuers, which included Knox and Heymans, Stewart and Lill, and Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck of Bell Cycling-Columbia. Mixed categoryMixed category overall leaders Erik and Ariane Kleinhans of Contego-28E crashed 10km from the finish to gift bride-to-be Cherise Taylor and her future brother-in-law Dwane Stander – brother of Burry Stander – the final stage honours in 2:45:06. The two will also likely be contenders at next month’s Trans Germany stage race, which is a solo event. They’ve been riding well“It’s great that James and Charles could win today. They’ve been riding really well and deserve it,” he added. The Kleinhans couple, who finished second on the day in 2:50:42, had enough of a margin to retain their title in 10:08:40. Taylor and Stander were second in 10:23:00. Defending champion Max Knox and his new partner Mannie Heymans of Ormin finished in 2:23:59 to take third place on the day. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material No mistakeAfter his near-perfect record was marred last year when he and George overshot a turn on the final day, the pair made no mistake on the fast 72km final stage from Jolivet Farm near Highflats to Scottburgh High School. Ivor Jones and Bridgitte Stewart of Crusader Logistics crossed the line in third place in 2:52:30 to claim the same position overall in 10:47:36. Next in were the second bizhub-FCF pairing of Leana de Jager and Nicci Grobler in 3:02:24. They also claimed the runner-up spot in the overall standings in 10:57:52. SAinfo reporter Women’s raceIn the women’s race, early overall leaders Karien van Jaarsveld and Theresa Ralph of DisChem-Britehouse-MTN took their second stage win in 2:46:47, but it was not enough to secure the overall title after they lost almost an hour the previous day with mechanical problems. That left them in third place in the general classification in 11:07:36. “It would have been nice to have beaten them fair and square,” said Williamson, who hails from Britain. “We put so much effort into yesterday, going for the stage win because we didn’t know what the time gap was, and paid for it today.” Overall classificationEvans, from Plettenberg Bay, and George, from Cape Town, topped the general classification with an overall time of 8:31:33. On the third and final day, Evans and George rolled across the finishing line registering a time of 2:21:08, five seconds behind stage winners and team-mates James Reid and Charles Keey, who rode in the colours of Nedbank 360Life-Blend Properties. They took the overall lead after winning the opening stage between Underberg and McKenzie Club near Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday and did not relinquish it. Evans said he expected more of a fight from their competition as they went up the first climb. “So we took a chance pacing with our junior team, basically consolidating our lead and making sure we had no hassles coming up to the finish. The stage victory saw Reid and Keey cement their runner-up spot overall in 8:36:25, with Darren Lill and Brandon Stewart of FedGroup-Itec Connect-Bonitas rounding out the podium in 8:45:18.
BOSTON (AP) — The party’s officially over for Rob Gronkowski.The New England Patriots’ fun-loving, touchdown-spiking tight end announced Sunday that he is retiring from the NFL after nine mostly dominant, Super Bowl-filled seasons.The four-time All-Pro posted his decision on Instagram , saying that a few months shy of his 30th birthday “it’s time to move forward and move forward with a big smile.”“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far,” Gronkowski wrote in his post. “I will be retiring from the game of football today.”Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski’s agent, confirmed his client’s decision to retire.The playmaking tight end, who turns 30 in May, leaves as a three-time Super Bowl champion who established himself as one of the most dominant players at his position and one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. His personality — on and off the field — was as big as his biceps, and he always seemed to be the life of the party.“In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “He always has a youthful exuberance about him and is a joy to be around.But Gronkowski has been dogged in recent seasons by back, knee, ankle and arm injuries that have limited his ability to stay on the field.It led him to hint at retirement following New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to end the 2017 season and again last month after the Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams.In his Instagram post, Gronkowski thanked the Patriots organization, coach Bill Belichick and New England’s fans for their support during his nine NFL seasons.“Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be,” Gronkowski wrote.Belichick said Gronkowski was a major reason the Patriots won championships.“His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten,” Belichick said in a statement.Gronkowski’s teammates also almost immediately began to flood social media with well-wishes.“Love you man!!” Brady wrote on Instagram, along with an emoji of a goat to refer to Gronkowski as the greatest of all-time. “Couldn’t be a better person or teammate!!!!”It was a sentiment shared by receiver Julian Edelman.“The other goat,” Edelman posted on his Instagram page, also referring to Brady.Though he won’t have the longevity of some of his contemporaries at tight end, Gronkowski is expected to get strong consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when eligible.Gronkowski, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft, had his fourth career 1,000-yard receiving season in 2017 and was an All-Pro for the fourth time that season.But at times he looked like a shell of himself during the Patriots’ Super Bowl run this past season. Gronkowski finished the 2018 regular season with just 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns.He had one of his best games of the season in the Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Rams, hauling in six catches for 87 yards, including two receptions on New England’s only touchdown drive during their 13-3 victory.A fan favorite in New England for his gregarious and playful persona that included awkward dance moves and touchdown celebrations, Gronkowski was one of the most dominant tight ends of his era.His 12 career postseason touchdown receptions are the most by a tight end in NFL playoff history. His 81 career postseason catches are also best among tight ends.He’ll also retire with 79 career TD catches — regular season and playoffs — which is third all-time by a tight end behind only Antonio Gates (116) and Tony Gonzalez (111).Brady and Gronkowski connected on 78 TD passes. It is the second-most scoring connections between a quarterback and a tight end in NFL history behind only Philip Rivers and Gates (89) and is fifth overall between quarterbacks and all pass-catchers.“Rob will leave an indelible mark on the Patriots organization and the game,” Brady said, “as among the best, most complete players at his position to ever play.”By: Kyle Hightower, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
Could the SEC be added to its 14-team total?Update No. 2: SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has released a statement on the matter. Statement from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on satellite camps. pic.twitter.com/25DEq2mGdh— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) April 28, 2016Update No. 1 : The ACC often votes in line with the SEC, and it is also following suit in lifting its own satellite camp ban, according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson. Decision today means the ACC has changed its league rule to match the NCAA rule: Satellite camps are now allowed. Go forth and camp …— Andrea Adelson (@aadelsonESPN) April 28, 2016Earlier: The conference in most opposition to satellite camps has been the SEC, with much of these camps being held in their territory. With the NCAA reversing its stance on the camps, announcing today that the ban has been lifted, the SEC is now changing its mind on them, too. According to Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee, the SEC’s ban on satellite camps will be lifted on May 29. Confirmed that, without a national ban, the SEC’s ban on satellite camps will be lifted on May 29.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) April 28, 2016Hugh Freeze isn’t going to be happy. The Ole Miss coach doesn’t like them because they take him away from his family in the offseason. Hugh Freeze responds to Jim Harbaugh’s comments on refusing to “work harder” and not being a “kindred spirit” pic.twitter.com/zgmuxCdWLu— Andrew Doughty (@Adoughty88) April 13, 2016Will we get to see an SEC team hold a satellite camp in Columbus or Ann Arbor? That’d be fun.
That cohort has a similar number of great games but also a large bump around QBR 20, which are bad games by any measure — a bump that the Luck group avoids. Not surprisingly, the Luck group has a career win percentage of 59 percent, while the former cohort is only 53 percent. In the NFL, interceptions (a key component of a low QBR score) can drag a team, and a QBR, down.Now compare both of those groupings to the one with Ben Roethlisberger, Nick Foles, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson.They, too, have a bump around QBR 25, but their peak checks in somewhere around a QBR of 85 — a score that gives a team a very good chance to win. That elevated number would explain why the group’s 64 percent win percentage is the highest of the three groups previously mentioned. The occasional bad game won’t break a quarterback as long as his good performances are strong enough.Other quarterbacks might not like their company. Alex Smith chafes at the idea that he’s a “game manager,” and talent scout Russ Lande thinks he might not be. “Smith is often referred to as [a game manager], but physically, he doesn’t limit you,” he says. “You don’t have to make him a game manager. I think it’s just that some quarterbacks have that philosophy, ‘I’m never going to throw it where it’s a risk.’ It’s more based on their mentality than their physical skill set.” And yet the stats group Smith with E.J. Manuel, Jason Campbell, Josh Freeman, Josh McCown, Matt Hasselbeck and Mark Sanchez. Among that company, perhaps game manager is a generous term.One of the most interesting groups involves a player who is no longer in the league. Favre’s games after 2006 landed in the same cohort as post-2006 Michael Vick and Vince Young, two quarterbacks known for making plays with their feet and not much else. We can explain this by breaking down Favre against Dalton. Although their average QBR is nearly identical, the vast majority of Dalton’s games fall between a QBR of 25 and 75. Favre, the ultimate freelancer, has a big bump around 15 QBR and another between 80 and 85. Dalton won’t win a team the game, but he probably won’t lose it. Favre, however, is likely to do either.That difference results from playing style, according to John Westenhaver, president of Football Evaluations and a long-time quarterback talent evaluator. An average quarterback makes about half of his throws using nontraditional mechanics because he’s forced out of the pocket or rushed, but the former Green Bay Packers star made many more than that, often to his detriment. “Favre, to me, put that to the extreme. Although he’s passed for a gazillion yards, I think he leads the league in interceptions.7Favre threw 336 career interceptions, well ahead of second-place George Blanda’s 277. Sometimes you have to make a decision: Am I going to throw from this alternative platform, or is it best to select some other alternative, which may be to take the sack, throw the ball out of bounds, run the ball?”Rivers and Luck offer similar stories. Their career QBRs — 61.5 and 60.8, respectively — aren’t quite Manning’s 76.1 or Brady’s 70.1, but they are good enough to rank the pair in the top 10 of quarterbacks whom we examined. Both can make all the throws and post huge numbers, but there’s a general perception that Luck — a Stanford graduate who has the reputation of being a football savant — makes fewer mistakes. We see this in their game curves. Luck has fewer bad games but fewer truly exceptional ones as well, while Rivers has more bad games and great ones, with less middle ground.This season’s playoff picture provides a look at one possible future. Whereas Rivers watched from home, Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a win over Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, then an upset over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. He didn’t win the games with his play, but more importantly, he didn’t lose them. In other words, a team might not need a quarterback with a huge bump on the right side of the graph to prevail in the NFL, but one with a peak on the left probably dooms it to failure.We made an interactive tool with all the quarterback curves. Click here to graph density curves of your choosing, and look at the splits for home and away games. There’s a larger sample size of QBs in the interactive, which means players like JaMarcus Russell are involved. Because who doesn’t want to find out which QBs are most similar to JaMarcus Russell?CORRECTION (Jan. 16, 1:46 p.m.): A previous version of this article misstated Rivers’ and Luck’s career QBRs. This weekend, two perennial MVP candidates and two up-and-coming stars will be under center in NFL conference championship games. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the establishment; Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are the hopeful usurpers. They’ve all reached the conference title game, in part, because they’re among the highest-performing quarterbacks in football — all falling within a career average Total Quarterback Rating of 59.6 and 70.1.1ESPN’s QBR, measured on a scale from 0 to 100, debuted in 2006. It’s not retrofitted to quarterback performances before 2006.But that’s just an average, and sometimes averages can deceive. Turning several observations into a single metric like a Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) obscures some information. For example, post-2006 Brett Favre2His final five seasons. (average QBR: 52.1) and Andy Dalton (52.0) have roughly identical numbers, but would anyone think of Favre when thinking of Dalton?A more thorough analysis makes use of the complete set of observations. The distribution of each quarterback’s QBR can offer a more thorough understanding of performance. When we look at quarterbacks this way, we find some players who consistently minimize bad games and others who can be brilliant one week and horrible the next, regularly handicapping their teams.3Quarterbacks who post a single-game QBR above 90 in a game win 90 percent of the time, whereas a score of less than 10 corresponds with a loss more than nine times out of 10.Comparing each quarterback’s distribution of game-by-game QBR can be done using a density curve, which is used to estimate the fraction of a player’s performances that occurred in a given interval — in this case, the probability that a quarterback had a QBR of a specific number in any individual game.4For a description of density curves and its application to hockey players, see this post on the blog WAR on Ice. We looked at the 45 quarterbacks with at least 10 starts in the past two years or 50 career starts since 2006, and found that the quarterbacks stratified into 10 categories.5We used k-means clustering on different percentiles of each quarterback’s distribution. Although there is no correct value for k in implementing k-means, we found the best performance with between k=8 and k=10. As the curves looked much easier to interpret with k=10, we went with that. Once we had fixed 10 clusters, we ran the algorithm about a dozen times and used the clustering with the highest within-cluster similarity of those iterations. This helps justify the choice of player groups but doesn’t exactly imply that the QB groups are perfectly stable from one iteration to the next. That is because the k-means algorithm is non-deterministic — it doesn’t give the same answer with each run. Each quarterback is given his own density curve, which represents the distribution of game-by-game QBR. The dark black curve in each figure represents the average density for all quarterbacks in that group. The groups are designed such that quarterbacks within the same group are similar, but from one group to the next, there are differences in the centers, shapes and/or spreads of each quarterback’s density curves.Some groupings weren’t a surprise. Brady, Rodgers and Peyton Manning — widely considered the three best quarterbacks in the NFL and the trio ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in average QBR — make up one group with a curve that spikes dramatically as QBR rises.Other groupings, however, offered some counterintuitive results. One cohort consists of five players: Luck, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Schaub, Teddy Bridgewater and Tony Romo. Each quarterback in this group had more bad games and fewer exceptional ones than the Brady/Manning/Rodgers set, but he posted more strong games than poor ones over his career.This would suggest that if you’re going to call one of these quarterbacks “elite,” you need to at least consider that all of them are or were. Even though the narrative around Kaepernick, Schaub and Romo is that they’re inconsistent, their curves suggest otherwise.Compare that with a larger group that includes Cam Newton, David Garrard, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco and Robert Griffin III.6Given that company, would you want to pay Flacco’s $120.6 million contract?
The opening matches of the 2014 CONCACAF Championship were played on Wednesday, marking the start of the nine-month countdown to next summer’s Women’s World Cup. Although the focus Wednesday night was on the United States (six-time CONCACAF champions and the tournament’s host), the spotlight quickly shifted to the U.S. women’s opponent, Trinidad and Tobago. The Trinidadians managed to hold the Americans scoreless until the 55th minute, when Abby Wambach headed in her 171st international goal (the all-time record for any American player, male or female). The U.S. won 1-0.Up to five teams from the North American, Central American and Caribbean football associations might appear at next year’s World Cup. Only three CONCACAF teams played in the 2011 tournament (the U.S., Canada and Mexico). As next year’s host, Canada receives an automatic bid, which in turn allows for an “extra” CONCACAF spot. The top three teams from the CONCACAF Championship will automatically qualify. The fourth-place team will play in a two-game series against Ecuador, who placed third in the 2014 Copa América Femenina, to determine who goes to the World Cup.All of this to say that an otherwise unlikely CONCACAF team, like Trinidad and Tobago, could make its World Cup debut in 2015. But just how likely are the Soca Princesses to be one of the top four CONCACAF tournament teams?To calculate the expected wins and various probabilities for each team in the tournament, we used the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, which are based on a variant of our old friend the Elo ratings. FIFA provides a nice explanation of how to turn their ratings into win probabilities for a given matchup (though for group stage matches we had to adjust the formula a bit to account for the possibility of draws). Once we had the ratings and probabilities, we programmed a Monte Carlo simulation to run 1,000 simulations and track how well each team performed in the group stage, as well as how far it advanced in the knockout round.Despite last night’s disorganized formation and lack of finishing from the U.S. side, the Americans are still far and away the CONCACAF favorites, with a 95.5 percent chance of winning the tournament. Mexico is the next most likely team to win, but it has only a 3.8 percent chance. Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, has a less than 1 percent chance of winning.Below are the expected group points and win probabilities for every CONCACAF tournament team:Fortunately for Trinidad and Tobago, reaching the knockout round of the tournament is enough to give the team a shot at going to the World Cup, and it has a 51.2 percent chance of doing just that. Wednesday night’s quality performance, including 11 saves by Trinidadian goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, may bode well. Haiti sits just behind Trinidad in Group A, with a 45.3 percent chance of reaching the knockout round. Haiti also edged past Guatemala last night 1-0, despite going down a player in the 17th minute after goalkeeper Cynthia Chery was issued a straight red card.The Group B matches start Thursday night, with Costa Rica taking on top-seeded Mexico, and Jamaica playing Martinique (Martinique can’t qualify for the World Cup because it is not a member of FIFA, so we threw out the two simulations we ran where Martinique advanced). Mexico is the most likely team to advance from Group B, with a 94.4 percent chance, but Costa Rican standout Shirley Cruz Traña (who plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain in one of the top women’s leagues) will likely be a major threat in Thursday’s game.The next Group A matches take place Friday, when the U.S. will resume play against Haiti. After Wednesday night’s performance, newly appointed head coach Jill Ellis may be looking to tweak a rather chaotic formation. The U.S. players veered from their typical 4-4-2 formation against the Trinidadians; Wambach sat in an attacking midfield spot but she often drifted forward, creating what looked almost like a 4-1-3-2 at times. Similarly, Trinidad will need to break from Wednesday night’s defensive 4-5-1 formation to put some points up against Guatemala.We’ll be updating our predictions periodically throughout the CONCACAF tournament.Oliver Roeder contributed analysis.CORRECTION (Oct. 24, 4:37 p.m.): A previous version of this post included a table with an incorrect column header. The table lists the chances of placing third, not reaching the third-place game.
Freshman quarterback Justin Fields sits at the Ohio State men’s basketball game between the Buckeyes and Michigan State on Jan. 5 following his transfer to Ohio State from Georgia. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternJustin Fields and Tate Martell each walked into a full quarterback room. Martell, a freshman at Ohio State, walked into a room inhabiting three starting quarterbacks: J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow, who transferred and eventually started at LSU.Fields walked into the quarterback room at Georgia as one of three five-star quarterbacks, joining Jake Fromm and Jacob Easton, who transferred to Washington prior to the 2018 season. But both Fields and Martell had something else in common: Both thought they had a legitimate shot at the starting quarterback job at their respective schools. And both, having each spent a year of eligibility, were proved otherwise. After the 2018 season, both Fields and Martell decided to leave their initial colleges when Fields’ decision to transfer to Ohio State led to Martell’s eventual transfer to the University of Miami. But for both Fields and Martell, the NCAA transfer rules remain the same: The player will have to sit out one season at the institution they transfer to in order to serve an academic year in residence.However, the institutions that Fields and Martell transferred to — Ohio State and Miami, respectively — can apply for a waiver that would make the athlete immediately eligible.“It has become much more common now than it once was,” William Brooks, a partner of Lightfoot Law who specializes in NCAA compliance and investigations, said. “Over the last year or two, you have seen more and more of these requests granted than not, easily more than a majority are granted.” Brooks said there are a number of grounds the student can assert, but that it does have to be a stated reason that does not involve the student-athlete wanting to play next season. Fields had a different reason in mind when he came to Ohio State. During Georgia’s 38-12 win against Tennessee on Sept. 29, Adam Sasser, a former first baseman on the Volunteers’ baseball, team yelled racial slurs toward Fields on the sideline. “I don’t know whether it was Jake Fromm had a bad series or something, but this guy was really drunk, and he decides to yell out, ‘Put the N-expletive in the game. Put the N in the game,’” Michael Hebert, the football beat reporter for the Red and Black, Georgia’s student newspaper, said. Sasser, who never denied the incident and later sent out an apology, was kicked off the baseball team on Oct. 3. “It seemed like it was just an unfortunate incident that wasn’t going to affect anything,” Hebert said. However, Fields will use this incident, according to reports, as a means to gain immediate eligibility in his first season at Ohio State, teaming up with Tom Mars, the attorney who helped former Ole Miss players, including Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, gain immediate eligibility for the 2018 season after their transfers. Brooks said the incident involving Sasser already has an important element that could contribute to Fields’ eligibility. “The incident that occurred was documented. We know that it happened, so it seems like he has satisfied that part,” Brooks said. “The second part is that it has to directly impact his health, safety or well-being, and that’s what the ultimate decision will be.” But Herbert believes there is really no hard feelings between Fields and Georgia that led to his transfer. “I don’t really see Fields having animosity towards anyone,” Herbert said. “It really had a lot to do with the football decision and wanting to be at a place where he feels he could be better.” Coming into the 2017 season as the No. 2 recruit in the class, Fields had extremely high expectations, despite the level of talent Georgia already had at the quarterback position. However, throughout the season, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart would bring Fields in for an occasional running play and take him back out. “Everyone was kind of confused as to what was going on with the plan there,” Herbert said. “Kirby Smart said there was no plan.” After Georgia’s 41-17 win against South Carolina on Sept. 8, Fields was filmed walking off the field telling a teammate, “I didn’t do s***. I just handed the ball off, and it was good as f***.” Fields completed one pass for eight yards and recorded one rush for three yards in the victory. Without a direct path to playing time with Fromm firmly holding the starting quarterback job, rumors about Fields possibly transferring swirled around the freshman throughout the 2018 season. After the 2018 SEC Championship, Jake Reuse, a recruiting writer for UGASports.com, said Fields was “noncommittal” when asked about the transfer rumors, saying he was focused on Georgia at that point in time. But Reuse felt a transfer was in Fields’ future. “I think that people left that interview and left that SEC Championship game feeling like it was moving away from rumor and probably more into fact sooner rather than later,” Reuse said. Fields will not be the only one trying to play next season. According to a report from 247Sports, Martell will be trying to gain immediate eligibility as well, citing the head coaching change — with Urban Meyer announcing his retirement prior to the Rose Bowl and offensive coordinator Ryan Day taking over as head coach — as his grounds to play for the Hurricanes next season. Brooks said the standard to gain immediate eligibility is that the circumstance is “a documented, mitigating circumstance outside of the student-athlete’s control.” Prior to Fields’ transfer to Ohio State, Martell said he was ready to earn the starting quarterback job under Day. “I feel like it’s my turn to go out there and do my thing. I feel like I’ve earned that,” Martell said. “I’ve worked extremely hard to get to the point where I am, and each year, I keep climbing and getting better.” Due to the increasing trend of granted requests for immediate eligibility, Fields at Ohio State and Martell at Miami could both have a chance to prove their ability within their new programs starting as soon as the 2019 season.